From around the world

Utah South Area

Helping hands reach outHIGHLAND, UTAH - A unique poster prepared by Primary children and leaders in the Development Center Ward, Highland Utah East Stake, was recently presented to Michaelene P. Grassli, Primary general president; her counselors, Betty Jo N. Jepsen and Ruth B. Wright; and the Primary general board.

The Utah Development Center in nearby American Fork, Utah, houses children and adults with serious mental and physical disabilities. Resident "children" who attend the Primary here are up to 23 years old. Most are in wheelchairs and are unable to communicate.

The young people prepared a poster titled, "I feel peace reaching for Christ." It included traced hands of each child, with first names on each one, reaching toward a picture of the Savior.

It took some effort to get the hands traced, according to Primary Pres. Deanna Murdock. Hands had to be massaged and worked with in order to straighten fingers. The children had to be loved and made to feel comfortable with the process so they wouldn't be frightened.

Utah Central Area

Film teaches acceptance

SANDY, UTAH - Explorers in Post 213, sponsored by the Aspen Hills Ward, Sandy Utah Granite South Stake, recently wrote and produced a 15-minute film based on the experiences of one of the young men in the post.

The 16 young men involved were interested in earning the cinematography merit badge and enlisted the expertise of their adviser, George Griner, to assist them. Brother Griner has had 20 years of professional experience in feature-film and video production.

It took a month to write the script, which focuses on teenagers who judge and ridicule a young man based on his clothing and appearance, only to subsequently have a change of heart and accept him as part of their group.

At the conclusion of the project, the young men and young women from the ward met together to view the film and discuss ways to improve the relationships of the youth in and out of the ward.

Africa Area

Liberians observe restoration

MONROVIA, LIBERIA - War-weary Liberian Church members joined other Saints around the world to commemorate the restoration of the priesthood May 15, reported James C. Palmer, first counselor in the Monrovia District presidency.

Following a civil war from 1990-1993 in which more than 150,000 people were killed and much of the Church membership was dispersed, Church units have regrouped and are following normal schedules, according to Pres. Palmer.

The district priesthood commemoration activity was held in the auditorium of the D. Twe High School of New Kru Town, a borough of Monrovia. About 70 priesthood holders attended.

The activity consisted of talks, a dramatization of the restoration of the priesthood, a scripture chase and games and refreshments, said Bill K. Jarkloh, director of public affairs.

Asia Area

Family effort brings publicity

SINGAPORE - A.C. Ho, the Church's director of public affairs in Singapore, has started a voluntary public program of family support groups, based on the family home evening handbook.

Director of Strategic Human Performance Systems, Brother Ho received unusually favorable publicity for the program in the local newspaper.

Brother Ho also won a family life essay contest by writing about the family home evening experience of his family. As a result, he was invited to participate in the upcoming Exhibition on Family Values sponsored by the Ministry of Community Development, a government agency similar to the United States Federal Department of Community Development.

Europe Area

Media boosts profile

KAUNAS, LITHUANIA - Missionaries of the Latvia Riga Mission laboring in this city have received extensive media coverage, which has helped raise the profile of the Church, said mission Pres. Robert Blair.

In the past six months, five programs produced by the Church's Bonneville International were broadcast by Luthuania's only independent television station. In addition, several television and radio programs and newspaper articles featured the missionaries' activities. Missionaries were shown teaching English, playing with children at an orphanage, and discussing the gospel.

Radio programs also featured missionaries discussing several gospel topics. "As a result of this media coverage, the Church in Luthuania is now viewed more positively, misinformation about the Church has been corrected, and many doors have been opened to the missionaries," said Elder Robert Rees, who with his wife, Ruth, is serving an educational mission in Lithuania.

Europe/Mediterranean Area

District reflects growth

METZ, FRANCE - Due in part to the activity of missionaries in the Belgium Brussells Mission, a new district was recently created in a division of the Nancy France Stake.

Elder Dean L. Larsen of the Seventy and president of the Europe/Mediterranean Area, presided over the creation of the Metz France District, which is made up of four branches, one of which includes the small country of Luxembourg.

Elder Dennis Bonny, regional representative, and mission Pres. Chris J. Frogley participated in the Nancy stake conference where the division took place.

Mexico South Area

Museum founded

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - A museum of Mormon history in Mexico is being established near the Mexico City Temple, according to founders Enriqueta P. de Gomez, Ramundo Gomez Gonzalez, and Pres. Fernando R. Gomez Paes of the Mexico Merida Mission.

The three are niece and nephews of the late Consuelo Gomez, a prominent LDS writer whose influence led to the idea to set up a museum. She is the author of poetry and dramas based on chapters of the Book of Mormon.

The museum, which has been endorsed by the Mexico South Area presidency, will be housed in a remodeled store that has been purchased by the founders. It will include a documents library, video library, research department to coordinate research with other museums and universities, a conference room and editorial offices where reference and other works will be prepared for publication. Brazil Area Symposium successful

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Several people have been baptized and more than 200 referrals received following the Church's participation in a symposium on culture and religion at Rio de Janeiro State University.

Elder Antonio Jose Mendonca, regional representative, and Pres. Jose Da Rocha Camargo of the Rio de Janeiro Madureira Stake presented overviews of the Church and answered questions.

Information and videos about the Church were displayed, along with those of other religions. Those who sponsored the first-ever symposium at the university were pleased with participation by the Brazil Rio de Janeiro North Mission, and invited them to participate at the next symposium.

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